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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

necessity change, and not, it can be said, to her advantage. The Anglo-
Saxon forces would land on Europe's shores armed and equipped to a
degree v;hich Russia could never have visualised. Both these armies,
British and American, would stand fresh and strong and, not over-tired
by hunger or a long struggle, would be able to carry out their great under-
taking to the end.
During the first Great War, Tsarist diplomacy, fearful of that moment
when the Allies would be the first to advance into Germany, had strained
every muscle in an effort to extract the former's consent to the Russian
war-aims. They had also threatened the partners with a separate peace,
and were, in fact, able to achieve all they desired. Russia was promised
the frontier she wanted on the West (the river Oder) and the Turkish
Straits : Constantinople, the west coast of the Bosphorus, the Sea of
Marmora, and the Dardanelles, Southern Thrace up to the Enos—Midia
line, the coasts of Asia Minor between the Bosphorus, the river Sakaria
and a point to be determined later on, the Gulf of Ismid,"the islands of
the Sea of Marmora, and Imbros and Tenedos. Bohemia and the
Balkans (except Greece) were to have been within the Russian sphere of
Tsardom had been able to extract far-reaching territorial commitments
from the Allies when its shares were at their lowest, in 1915, during the
great retreat of the Russian Army from Poland, and in 19173 when this
Army was showing all the signs of disintegration.   There is no available
information as to the exact period in the Second Great War which was
marked by the Kremlin's threat of a separate peace, but it is clear that
this powerful lever was used at the first opportunity, as soon as the Krem-
lin's overlord knew he could expect an affirmative reply from Hitler to
any peace proposal emanating from Moscow.    It can safely be assumed
that, when the Red Army was approaching the frontier of Poland and the
Baltic States, Hitler was willing to discuss peace conditions favourable to
the Soviets.    If the Government of Nicholas II had been able, at its
lowest military strength to threaten the Allies with separate peace, then
Stalin had no difficulty in repeating the story when his shares stood firm.
Was the threat to reach a separate understanding with Germany now to
be repeated by Stalin at Teheran ?   Was he blankly demanding e give up
or else * ...  any discussion on this topic was banned in the Allied press,
and the information gained from neutral sources could not be considered
as based on facts.   A year later the New York Times wrote on December
8, 1944, that " Stalin did not want to agree to co-ordinate the action of
the Red Army with the operation of the Allies without receiving definite
commitments from Great Britain that the latter would support the Russian
demand of Eastern Europe as far as the Curzon Line."   In the event of
Russian inactivity, the Allied invasion of Europe would seemingly have
had less chance of success, but if Stalin had repeated the story of Brest-
Litovsk, there would be certainly have been no chance at all,